Checking in with JMU Wayland Hall’s LEED Platinum Performance

By Frances Lengowski, AIA, LEED AP

On April 10, the James Madison University Board of Visitors toured Wayland Hall – a residence hall renovated by VMDO.  It was a great opportunity to check back in with the project and learn how the building has performed since it re-opened in the fall of 2011.

When we designed the renovations to the 1950s building, JMU set high ambitions for the building’s sustainability.  In fact, the project was one of the first residence halls in the country to earn LEED Platinum certification. Now that we have three years of data on the building’s performance, we are glad to learn that since January of 2012, the building has:

  • Used 59% less energy than a similar building designed to code-compliant standards
  • Conserved over 1,490,000 kWh of energy
  • Conserved over 1.9 million gallons of water – that’s enough water to fill almost 3 full-sized Olympic swimming pools!

Our team also designed the renovations to support a strong sense of community among residents while giving them opportunities to explore their skills and interests. With improved public spaces, reconfigured student bedrooms, and spaces to support a living-learning community dedicated to the arts,  students have the opportunity to explore their interests, talents, and their community. With pre- and post-renovation survey data from Wayland residents, we were glad to learn that students have benefited from a richer experience in the building:

  • From Pre- to Post-Renovation, when asked if the building design contributed to their sense of community and helped them achieve their academic goals, students reported a 38% increase and 32% increase, respectively, in these factors.
  • Average satisfaction with public spaces increased 20% from pre- to post- renovation.
  • Students are spending much less time watching TV in their rooms. The percentage of students frequently watching TV in their rooms decreased from 80% to 40% from pre- to post-renovation.
  • Students are using their rooms for group study more frequently. The percentage of students frequently studying with partners in their rooms increased from 32% to 50% from pre- to post-renovation.
  • Utilization increased in almost all public spaces from pre-to post- renovation.

To learn more about the design of Wayland Hall and enjoy photographs of the building, please visit our website: http://www.vmdo.com/project.php?ID=26

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